When you should send samples with your press release:
1) When the item is very low cost: If the press release you're sending is about a product that is under $10.00, you may want to consider sending a sample of the product to the editors. Since the item is low cost, it makes sense to send a sample. Sending a sample can help improve your chances for getting some free publicity for your company.
2) When it is a major publication: Another good time to consider sending a product sample is when you're dealing with a major publication. If the publication has a wide distribution you may want to consider sending them a sample. When it comes to getting publicity in the top magazines, it is a good rule of thumb to consider sending them a product sample. After all, if they decide to run the release on your product, all it costs you was one product sample.
3) The editor needs a sample for their photography studio: Many times the editors for larger publications will have their own in-house photography studio and will want a sample to photograph at their facilities. In this case by all means send them a sample as soon as possible.
When you shouldn't send samples with your press release:
1) When editors say they want to see a sample of the product but they are still on the fence about publishing your press release: Under these circumstances I would say hold off on sending a sample. You could always send them a high resolution image of the product as an alternative.
2) When you send out to multiple publications that have low visibility: If the magazine has a lower distribution I would not send a product sample. It can be too expensive to start sending out product samples to every magazine and newspaper that makes a request. Instead opt for sending them a brochure of the product or mail them a CD with the high resolution image as an alternative.
3) The item's cost prohibits sending out as a sample: If the product costs is over $20.00 I would advise only sending a product sample to the magazines with the highest distribution. Again, you may get lots of request for product samples from the editors and you might want to consider letting the editors know that because the item costs are so high, you would prefer to send just the high resolution image of the product. AlsoFree Articles, when you send a high resolution image of the product make sure to take multiple shots of the item. Show the product from the different sides or if there are multiple pieces make sure to take pictures of all the various elements of the product.